Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne was back in the headlines with a winning treble for First Light Racing at Mornington on Monday.
Payne prepares all three – Think Champayne, Argus & Cape Victory – and she also piloted the first two legs in a record-breaking performance for a dual-licensee. “Training has its challenges but it’s a really good environment at home in Ballarat,” she said. “When it gets a bit tricky, it’s worth remembering how lucky you are to have days like this.”
Argus notched the fourth win in five days for Vinery sire Press Statement in the Highview Accounting Maiden (1500m). His dam Dinicanbern (Bernardini) is closely related to I Am Invincible and he made $75,000 when offered by Blue Gum Farm (as agent) at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.
“Michelle rode Argus to perfection,” First Light Racing manager Tim Wilson explained on Tuesday. “He has a big, beautiful action but kept getting cluttered up from inside barriers in his first few runs this prep. He drew a wide gate yesterday and was in clean air when Michelle made a move at the half-mile.
“She launched him off the camber and it ended up being a dominant win. His best is obviously still ahead so we will probably give him one more run before a break into the autumn carnivals.”
Press Statement is on fire with his first-crop flourishing as spring three year-olds. Argus joined He’s The News (Gold Coast), Incredulous Dream (Caulfield) and Hold The Press (NZ) who have all won since last Thursday.
Vinery stands Press Statement for a $13,750 (inc GST) service fee, payable on a live foal. For further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).
First Light also races Vinery’s VRC Oaks winning graduate Aristia. She will have a jump-out this Friday in preparation for the Empire Rose Stakes (Gr.1, 1600m) at Flemington on October 31 and her spring grand-final will be the Matriarch Stakes (Gr.2, 2000m) at headquarters on November 7.